Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Pulses such as peas, chickpea, and lentils are important in human diets as they are sources of protein. Pea (Pisum sativum L.) is one of the first crops to be domesticated in the Fertile Crescent around 11,000 years ago, and its uses have since expanded to the production of plant-based proteins with a growing market share. Because of shifts in consumer choices based on health, ethical, religious, and environmental issues, food industries are focusing on pea proteins to replace proteins from animals, wheat, and soybean. Because the market dictates the target products of a breeding program, tailored pea breeding for plant-based protein production may be required. Productivity and quality are the key aspects required in pea cultivars, whose end use is as plant-based proteins. Functional properties of proteins are also important in determining the application of plant proteins in the food industry. For example, protein solubility is important for beverages made of plant proteins. As a result, multiple traits must be evaluated in pea lines grown across multiple environments (location-year combinations) in what are known as multi-environment trials (METs).
Technical Abstract: As yellow peas (Pisum sativum L.) are preferred for protein isolation, evaluating available yellow pea genotypes for productivity, seed weight, and quality can be beneficial. We characterized 36 yellow pea genotypes grown in advanced yield trials at Fairfield and Pullman, Washington in 2020 and 2021. This study considered 16 traits recorded on seed, flour, protein isolate, and starch-rich byproduct. When compared to 2020, seed yield and weight decreased by more than 60% and 10% in 2021, respectively, whereas flour protein concentration increased in 2021. The protein isolation process yielded 17 20% protein isolate, corresponding to a protein recovery rate of 67-70%. A significant amount of starch-rich byproducts was also produced (61-64% of the initial sample). The heritability of seed weight and protein isolate yield (PIYLD) was high, but it was low for protein isolate purity (PIPC) and most functional properties. Different sets of genotypes were selected, when selection was based on different combinations of traits. Some genotypes can, in fact, combine merits for multiple traits depending on the degree of association between traits. Positive or non-significant correlation coefficients are beneficial when attempting to improve two or more traits concurrently. Since seed yield correlated weakly with seed weight and flour protein concentration (FLPC), some genotypes were discovered to have high yield with either high seed weight or flour protein. Owing to a strong correlation between FLPC and PIYLD, four genotypes combined the best of the two traits. Overall, the findings of this study can be used to develop a tailored pea breeding program focused on plant-based protein.